Do 3D movies usually give you a headache? According to a new study, you’re not alone. Researchers have been able to make a connection between consistent eyestrain headaches and 3D visuals.
The good news is there are several techniques that will help you reduce eyestrain so you can enjoy 3D entertainment with everyone else.
1. Warm up your eyes for 5 minutes
I learned this trick from a book I read years ago called Eyerobics. The idea is for you to work out your eyes like you would working out. There is one chapter dedicated to warming up the eyes for the workout. You should do this right before you put on the glasses. So put down the popcorn and let’s work out!
Start by putting your hands over your eyes. Don’t cup the eyes, let your palms touch the eyelids and hold there for 5 minutes. The idea is to warm up the eyes and the tendons around. If your hands are not warm enough, simply rub your hands together for a minute to build friction (and therefore, heat).
2. Stretch Out the Eyes
When ready, open your eyes. Slowly look up without moving your head. Look for about 10 seconds, then move to the right. After ten seconds, look down. Finally look to the left. Continue to move the eyes around in 5-10 second intervals to an extreme side. This is like stretching your leg muscle before going for a run.
3. Center of room, not too close
By watching a 3D movie, you want to be in the center of the theater or your house. That way, not only do you get the full effect, but your eyes are also not straining to perceive something that feels a little unnatural to you.
4. TV or Screen Height
Of course, you cannot adjust the theater screen, but in your home, try to make your TV where the center of the set is at eye-level. Looking down or up on a TV or computer monitor causes you to stretch your eyes, therefore strain. If you can look straight ahead, it will help on your eyes.
5. Glasses upon Glasses
I don’t have 20/20 vision. I wear contacts most of the time, but when I do have to wear glasses, I don’t want to watch 3D movies. It’s too clunky.
For others that are avoiding their vision impairments, if you have to squint to see the screen, 3D is going to be a lot harder to watch. Go to the doctor – get an eye exam. Update your prescription and you might be able to watch some great movies in 3D.
The idea for 3D to work is that your eyes have to be able to focus correctly. After all, if you take off the 3D glasses in a movie, doesn’t the screen look like if you didn’t have regular glasses on anyway?
6. Take a Rest during the show or game
The best thing to do is take off the glasses and close your eyes for a second. Rub your hands around the eyes to relax muscles. Move around your head even to loosen things up.
7. Types of 3D
There is more than one standard for 3D. Polarized, vs. shutter lenses vs. red-blue (the old way). Even out of those types, we still don’t have one standard.
For example, I got some 3D glasses from Gunnar when Tron was released. I went to the theater, but couldn’t use those glasses because they used a polarization technique where the images separated too much. I ended up having to wear the theater glasses for the experience.
Then again, it could be a theater protection option from people “Theater hopping”. The blue bag 3D glasses for Captain America won’t work in the Photoshop your eyes to make them better.
You make your own decisions, though. If you have a tip or trick to share in keeping your eyes fresh and clear, let me know. Twitter me @geekazine